Tag Archives: writing

Spring in Sacramento

This is the perfect time to live in Sacramento, California.  The weather has simply been divine.  Mid 70s, slight breeze, glorious sunshine with wispy clouds ever so often… Hopefully it will rain a bit more before the scortching summer heat arrives as we did not have a wet winter and everyone is worried we are going back into drought mode.  But for now, on my Spring Break, it has been delicious.

Here are a few flowers in my garden that have decided to bask in this great weather:

School has been really fun this year.  The kids just concluded learning about the Bill of Rights and the Three Branches of Government – for their culminating projects they did a music video and then a stop-motion video (respectively) explaining each.  Super silly and fun.  They also wrote a biography and did a research project on a founding father or mother of the US.  Here, they are dressed up ready to present their biography:







We also lucked out at Marin Headlands this year and it only poured down rain on us in the mornings – the afternoons were full of beautiful sunshine.

At the lighthouse.


We are now moving into learning about the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark and then on to the Civil War.  Its an exciting and very packed full final nine weeks.

March for Our Lives 2018

I’ve been doing a bit of hiking and exploring, not as much as I had planned as I am tutoring after school and trying to fit in writing the next book in “The Treasure Chest Mysteries.”  I’ve gone on a couple of marches: Women’s March and the March for Our Lives.  So amazing to be out there with people who care about our country.

Sunset watching the Great Sand Hill Cranes

Women’s March with Kristin and Brynna

And here it is April tomorrow!  I hope spring is being gorgeous where ever you are as well. Enjoy!

~ Gretchen




Filed under Education, Fifth Grade, Gardening / Outdoors, Spring, Uncategorized, Writing

Six Months in Sacramento

I have now been living in Sacramento for just over six months.  At first I wasn’t sure if this was a good move for me.  But the longer I am here, the more I am loving this place.  I do not think I have ever lived in a place where people are so nice, so happy, so open and genuinely love where they are.  The happiness quotient is contagious.

On January 21st, I walked with fellow teachers and friends in the Women’s March.  Amazing.  Such good, positive vibes.  Inclusion and support was the energy of the day.  I loved being a part of such a great crowd of people wanting the best for everyone.   img_6627

img_6632I am still in love with my school as well.  I just returned from a week at the Marin Headlands with my 5th grade class.  We hiked and bonded and laughed and learned.  It was good to get to know the kids in a different atmosphere and to be out along the beautiful California coast.  We had amazing weather and were happily exhausted each night.img_6782 img_6968

My after-school writing class is going well too.  The kids are so creative.  They are now developing a variety of stories and getting them ready to submit for possible publication. This summer I am going to be teaching two creative writing classes at Sacramento State University.  I love teaching and supporting creative thinkers.

My 5th graders just finished a unit on the American Revolution – our culminating project was a musical.  It was really fun – all done acapella.  Now we are working on the US Constitution and Bill of Rights – which brings up so many issues right now.  We are also gearing up for a Human Rights assembly.  My kids will be doing a rap/song/chant to a song by Colby and Awu (from Cameroon) called “Change the World.”  They’ll be singing acapella again, using their cubist paintings from art class as props and – via their t-shirt color – ending in a colorful rainbow.  Should be fun.

The official last day of winter is March 20th – just over 3 weeks away!

Happy end of February.




Filed under Education, Fifth Grade, Humanities

The Land of Golden Pagodas

I’m headed out for a new adventure.  You may be thinking, ah she’s headed to Mexico.  But this is not the case.  Although I hope to get down there late next year, I’m headed in a more eastward direction with a whole lot of miles and ocean in between.

I’m going to Myanmar!  A Buddhist country full of golden pagodas and palaces, lush rainforest, exotic spices and foods and beautiful, soft, gentle people.

I am going to teach:  little people excited and wiggly, sponges of curiosity.

It has happened quickly (signed the contract yesterday, bought my air ticket last night) and now I leave on May 9th!  Only 22 days until departure.  I’ll be living in the vibrant city of Mandalay come Saturday, May 11th.

Thanks to a huge support of friends and family I am able to sub-let my duplex (thus saving me all the massive packing and moving I was going to have to do), my wonderful new sub-letter is going to take care of my precious cats and I am off to teach, explore, and breath once again.  My heart and head need this.

I will be posting stories and photos on this site about my adventures over the next year. I hope you’ll enjoy, comment and engage.

I’m looking forward to a wonderful experience in a place I have yet to explore.   Gretchen


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Filed under Adventure, Education

Spring Is Really Here

A happy poem to welcome in Spring!
It is also entered in
Susanna Leonard Hill’s “In Just Spring” children’s story writing contest.

I hope you enjoy.

Sealing a kiss with pollinated bliss!

Sealing their love with pollinated bliss!

Spring Love

All photos and the story
by Gretchen Fogelstrom

A bee buzzed by a flower one day,

A sunny afternoon in the month of May.

The flower winked once to catch his eye,

So the bee circled round in the cloudless sky.

He thought how friendly is this flowers’ tone,

As he buzzed back by with a wink of his own.

She couldn’t contain her blossoming smile,

As he did loop-d-loops in the sky for awhile.

Then suddenly he flew in to say ‘hi,’

But once so close, his ‘hi’ became a sigh.

So she leaned forward and planted a kiss,

Sealing their love with pollinated bliss.

The birds in the trees sang out with great cheer

As now they knew glorious Spring was really here.


Sunflower Bud

Poppy Emerging

Poppy Emerging

Rose Bud

Rose Bud


Filed under Gardening / Outdoors, Photography, Spring, Writing

Thumbs Up for Jungle Boogie

So craziness – the literary agent has already gotten back to me – same day!  And he said Jungle Boogie was pretty good.  Said I needed to tighten up the rhyming a bit and add a stronger ending… apparently just happiness isn’t good enough.  And he said after I tweak that he’d like to see it again- YAY!

So guess what I am doing this weekend?

Thanks for all who gave me some shout-outs of encouragement!  Cross your fingers and toes!

Are you writing children’s stories?  Or any others for that matter?  Leave a comment and let me know.

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Filed under Writing

Trifecta Writing Challenge: Awarded Me Bronze!

I have always thought bronze was a fantastic color.  Shimmery or flat, it just oozes with warmth.  So I am over-the-top excited to learn this morning that my 33-word story The Hurricane just earned itself the Bronze in the Trifecta (WORLD :-) ) Writing Challenge – I’m Thrilled!!!

Storied Impressions rounds out our top three this weekend with a killer personification line in The Hurricane.”

Whoop, Whoop!

See Storied Impressions to read the story.

I’ll be smiling all day, I hope you do too!


Filed under Writing


Friday Fictioneers – a blog with a photo prompt – Every, you guessed it, Friday.  Here’s my 100 word story.

Beach - by Renee Homan Heath

Photo by Renee Homan Heath

Swept Away?
by Gretchen Fogelstrom

The shadows are growing long.  I know it’s time to go home, to face her.  Deep down, I know she is right.  I need to go back to school.

But I’ve always felt alive on the beach, nowhere else.  The rest of the world seems too chaotic.  The rhythm of the rising and setting of the sun, the in and out of waves, they help me breathe. The biggest crazy, is when the wind kicks up and the waves grow large.

The wind is kicking up now.  And the waves are at my toes.  What if a rogue wave comes?  Could I be swept away?  Could I become one with the fish?

Aren’t I philosophic?  Hmm, maybe philosophy as a major?


Filed under Writing

Fall Friends in Deep Repose

Sitting by a cozy fire with my wonderful furry friends the other night, I was doing a bit of writing.  I looked down to see both Oscar and Albert (my 2 cats) all snuggled together.  Unfortunately if I moved to get my camera, I would disturb them so the photo below is from a sunny summer afternoon – but you get the idea.

And here is the poem I was working on, thinking of how perfect a world could be…

Oscar and Albert

Fall Friends

One rainy day, the fire a glow,

Upon a cozy blanket lay,

Two furry brothers in deep repose,

Quietly dreaming of that day,

Not weeks before, when sun did shine,

The birds and mice and cats as one,

In mounds of leaves, played for a time,

Together laughing, having fun.

Have a great weekend.



Filed under Animals, Fall, Writing